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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-12-17

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, December 17, 1999

Child rape case grabs the headlines

THE ALLEGED rape of two pre-pubescent girls by a 23 year-old construction worker was given prominence by two papers, while the rest continued to focus on the Security Council resolution for the renewal of the Unficyp mandate.

Machi said that the suspected pederast had kidnapped the two sisters, aged eight and 12, on Saturday evening while their mother was at work. According to the paper, he had played porn videos and then raped them while his friend, who had also been detained, was watching. The police, after being notified by the mother of the girls, found them at the suspect's house.

Politis said that the police found out about the rape only after the two girls had been examined by doctors - originally, the suspect would have been charged for abduction and indecent assault. Apart from causing public shock, the behaviour of the suspect was also infuriating, the paper said. There were no mitigating circumstances, as a psychologist found nothing wrong with the suspect, who was very calm and composed during his court appearance. The paper alleged that the suspect had a guilty past, but was unable to substantiate this. It said that he was the brother of the 15-year-old girl with special needs who had given birth a few years ago and the identity of the father had never been revealed. The paper also pointed an accusing finger at the state welfare services and society, which had not done enough to help the suspected rapist.

Phileleftheros said that the UN Security Council had approved a resolution for the renewal of the Unficyp mandate, which did not set out the parameters of a Cyprus settlement. In order to keep Rauf Denktash satisfied, Britain and the US ensured that the resolution made no direct reference to the type of settlement being pursued. This was done indirectly, through reference to an older resolution. Although President Clerides had threatened not to return to the talks if the UN resolution made no reference to single sovereignty, he decided against it, because he did not want to fall out with the UN. His decision was also influenced by Denktash's positive response to the invitation for a second round of proximity talks.

Alithia said that the Security Council had resorted to a very brief and worthwhile resolution, which confined itself to a simple reference to previous resolutions. Diplomatic sources said that, in this way, the Council pre-empted protests from either side and ensured that Denktash would not carry out his threat to stay away from the second round of talks. The Cyprus government decided not to raise any objections as the resolution made reference to previous resolutions, which had set out the parameters of a Cyprus settlement.

Haravghi took a completely different line, describing the resolution as the first step for the equal representation of two federal states. It said serious concern was expressed by political circles, who felt that the new state of affairs was irreversible. This was the first time that no direct reference had been made to the parameters of a Cyprus settlement. At least the resolution satisfied Denktash, the paper said. Simerini said the resolution exposed the danger that all the positive elements included in the EU decision in Helsinki could be buried. The content of the UN resolution revealed the clear intention of the US and Britain to change the basis of the Cyprus negotiations and open the windows to a confederal settlement.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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